Three reasons why PR pros need to cut back on jargon

9 Feb 2022

Industry Insights
Using jargon and buzzwords places a barrier between you and the people that you are trying to reach. This is because people don’t even know what you are talking about most of the time. (What is that quote about less is more? You know the one!)

With this in mind, it might be a good idea to give jargon the chop and focus on communicating in a way that all professionals will understand.

If you are not yet convinced to give jargon the boot, then let’s dig a little deeper and take a look at three particular reasons why the use of jargon is not always the way to go.

Ready? Let’s jump right in:

1. Dropping the jargon humanises your interactions

As a PR professional, you work closely with many people from various industries. In order to build and nurture these relationships, it is essential to show your human side. This is because it allows people to be able to relate to you and the message that you are trying to convey.

If you communicate with them using big words and technical jargon, it might be harder for audiences to relate and connect with your messaging on a personal level. This is because they are more likely to feel disconnected from the conversation that you have with them — simply because of how they are being addressed.

2. Simple wording means better understanding

There is nothing more frustrating than being in a meeting or conversation with someone who uses impressive word choices when the need for it is not there. Think of that newbie sitting in their first PR meeting, for example — chances are high that they will be confused and not know what you are actually asking them to do.

Most of us have been in a scenario where we didn’t know what a particular phrase meant and we felt the need to sneak out our phone to Google the definition. But also consider the times when you have a client with you and they don’t understand what you mean through your word choice — they will be forced to stop following the conversation.

Clear communication, which is easy to understand, ensures that all parties involved in the conversation (be it client or fellow PR) will be able to keep up and contribute to the discussion.

Rather be understandable than trying to be impressive.

3. Helps to streamline your communication

As a PR professional, you are well aware that you do not only work with other PR professionals.

In fact, you may find yourself working directly with:
  • journalists
  • marketers
  • social media managers
  • influencers, and
  • the public.
With this in mind, you can imagine the different jargon you will need to learn to communicate ‘efficiently’ with each individual from different industries. This is where dropping the jargon might be the best way to go.

Why? If you are making use of a word like ‘boilerplate’ in a conversation with people who don’t work in the PR or media industry, they will not be able to follow along.

Communication with individuals in varying working environments needs to be clear in what you are trying to communicate. Therefore, leaving jargon and buzzwords on the sidelines might be the best way to get thought to journalists, clients and the public.

Curious to learn more about what the future of the PR industry awaits? Then be sure to read up on these Three PR trends to look out for in 2022.

*Image courtesy of Pexels